Passing of a young life

The tragic death of rugby forward Dave Hyde following Henley Hawks match on the 5th September 2021 reminded me of the public anguish in 2014 when four sailors, including 21-year old Andrew Bridge, one of Britain's youngest star yachtsmen, were lost while navigating heavy seas in the Atlantic in the yacht "Cheeki Rafiki".

A waste of young life? - we ask ourselves, and - What is God's role in this? In some cultures the incident would be classed as "the will of God", which brings a kind of closure. But enlightened Christianity sees this as a primitive response. "For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God" (Ezekiel 18:32)

God didnt want them to die. God allowed them to experience a world in which they could test their skill and bravery against the most relentless opponent. If their bravery did not sometimes come at a high cost, it would not be bravery. In other demonstrations of the human spirit, the most tragic events in the world have sometimes elicited a response of the highest order of love for humanity.

If we believe in our Christianity, we know that our dear ones are not lost. Also we can learn what Jesus meant by his phrase "overcome the world" (John 16:33). He demonstrated overturning of all the enemies the world can turn on us - he overturned sin, sickness and death. It will become clear to us that spiritual understanding is one of our most powerful weapons for good. If we see a mountain of grief before us, we can use our bravery and skill in spiritual understanding to overcome it.

We strive in what a spiritual writer calls "Earth's preparatory school". As we gain spirituality we can look beyond "fading and finite forms" to find, with the Revelator in last book of the Bible where in the Holy City "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Rev. 21:4)